The articles featured in this special issue of Kujenga Amani are based on conversations held between leading African scholars – who are also former APN grantees – and American scholars, practitioners, and policy makers during a conference on “Rethinking Approaches to Chronic Crisis in Africa: American and African Perspectives,” followed by consultations with policy makers and practitioners in Washington DC, both jointly organized by the Social Science Research Council and the Search for Common Ground on March 5-6, 2020. Speakers and participants shared insights on cross-border crises in North East Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin, Cameroon, the Central Africa Republic (CAR), Kenya and Somalia, and US engagements in those regions. The timing of the dialogue during the ongoing reform process of humanitarian and development assistance to fragile and conflict-affected states by the US was significant. Equally significant was the opportunity it presented for APN alumni conducting research in conflict-affected African states to connect their research to ongoing dialogues relating to the ongoing policy reform process. The essays that follow are based on presentations at the panel on “Understanding Chronic Crises,” by three APN alumni, Titi Ajayi, Pamela Chepngetich, and Christelle Amina Djouldé, and their reflections on consultations with members of the policy and scholarly communities in Washington DC. They succinctly share insights based on the presentation of the results of their APN-supported research, and the questions and issues that came up in the course of the discussions at the conference on March 5th, and also the highlights of consultations with members of the scholarly, practitioner, and policy making communities in Washington DC on March 6th. Finally, the former APN grantees speak to the insights gleaned from such consultations, as well as the benefits of bridging research to policy and practice in the context of US-Africa engagements.
APN Editorial Team